Survivor 42: Finale Reaction
Hey all! Season 42 has come to a close and Maryanne has earned the title of sole Survivor! I usually write the reaction right after the episode but given that this is the reunion (and I had a pretty hectic work week) I’m posting now to give my full energy to the post rather than mailing it in on the last episode. So with that, let’s break this down.
Lindsay “The Fighter” Goes Out at Five
Once the final five returned to camp post-Omar, Lindsay knew she was clearly on the outs and it was looking like everyone was on board to vote her out as a game-winning threat. While she was on some noxious copium accusing Jonathan of vicious betrayal despite wanting to vote him out for many days it was understandable: the one person she could trust is out, and everyone saw her as complicit to Omar’s schemes. She gets a lifeline by winning the immunity challenge advantage (as the only one to even get the word scramble right as the boys can’t spell LOL) and she looks super set up to win immunity and force the rest of the group to eat their own. Despite an advantage, Lindsay can’t beat Mike in what was edited to be the most suspenseful puzzle in the history of the world. While Maryanne entertained saving Lindsay, her gamesmanship was seen as too big to ignore and she was unanimously sent home. The shockwaves of the Omar blindside left Lindsay as the residual easy vote, because her moves with Omar were too respected. Lindsay made her mark on the season with a competitive passion and a heated hatred for Jonathan and his behavior (which makes the two of them perfect to move to The Challenge when Rivals 4 happens…)
Romeo with the Kim Johnson-esque Immunity Win
Final four feels like a race to see who could get the honor of picking Romeo to take to the final tribal council, but lo and behold: Romeo ends up winning the “Simmotion” challenge (thanks Maryanne). Because Romeo felt the most comfortable taking Maryanne it was Mike and Jonathan in firemaking, and Mike quickly puts together a blazing fire to beat out the tribe’s resident camp firestarter.
It was a shock to see Romeo win, but in a challenge without a puzzle or physical tasks Romeo had a shot and took his chance. It reminded me of when wayyyy back in Survivor: Africa, when old AF Kim Johnson won out immunities, making the final tribal despite having no real chance of winning over the three boys Big Tom, Lex, and Ethan. Romeo at the very least had a good final tribal council where he articulated himself well and played into the “underdog outcast” instead of the goat. It helped improve his reputation as a “less egregious” goat than he was an episode ago.
Jonathan comes a day short of making the final tribal council, which for someone who is as physically imposing and obviously threatening is a pretty big accomplishment. Strongmen usually meet their fate early in the merge once they lose immunity, but Jonathan had people watching his back and he stayed active in the strategic gameplay throughout the season. It’s probably best for him that he went out at four because signs were pointing to him facing a harsh jury for his crankiness and his own perception as an excellent strategist which may not have matched what other players thought.
Honest Mike Doesn’t Quite Work on Day 26
Mike had been playing well from the start of the season but when it came to the final day, Mike’s honest creed didn’t play so well with the jury, especially since he was involved in so many blindsides. Mike had to backtrack on how much “integrity” he felt he played with, as his own view of his playstyle was not perceived in the same way by the jury.
Mike was probably my favorite player throughout this season, because I loved how much he played with his heart on his sleeve. He was a bit too honest in his own head for the good of his game, but don’t let that distract you from his involvement in some big strategic plays this season.
Maryanne Oketch: Survivor 42’s Bubbly Superfan Pops Off in the Fourth Quarter
And this season’s winner is the always energized Maryanne, and it truly was deserving. After being a key part of the Omar blindside, she stayed locked in and avoided the emotional idol play (which paid off for her revealing her jewelry to the jury in tribal council) and secured bonds with Romeo to avoid having to make fire. Once at the final tribal council Maryanne delivered a fantastic performance, artfully explaining her gameplay and winning all but one vote from the jury. She’s a seminary student so it makes sense that she can speak so well and explain exactly what she was thinking
It’s rare to see the big personality make their way all the way to the end, but Maryanne did just that. In some ways she reminded me of Christian Hubicki in that you see exactly who she is, and that should make you a threat in the end because there’s only one Christian, or one Maryanne. And yet, her personality lowered her threat level and thanks to Taku’s team immunity wins she got to the merge and laid low. But, Maryanne was super aware of her place and stepped up to make impressive big moves at the end and secured her win. She’s definitely a winner we’ll be seeing more of as the seasons go by, since she’s so young and would definitely be the type of player to get the invite back.
So that’s Survivor 42! What a good season: memorable characters and fun strategy and blindsides: what more can you ask for? It will definitely be interesting to see how much Survivor production will keep from these two seasons to apply to the game for the long haul. There were a lot of twists that were used twice in a row so they have the data to know (and fan reception I might add) to know if it is worth keeping or not.
Looking forward to what’s coming up from my blog: I have my Edge or Extinction writeup pretty much complete, I’ve finished watching Island of the Idols, and I’m about to start Winners at War. That would finish my “New School” Survivor journey and a gargantuan power ranking coming up after I finished Season 40… from there, I might have to find a new show to write about :)
Thanks everyone for reading my posts. I appreciate it. I’ll be back for Season 43.